First Made-in-India Jeep Compass unveiled

Jeep has rolled out its first ‘Made in India’ model, the Compass SUV, today from Fiat’s Ranjangaon plant in Maharashtra. This facility is the mother plant for all right-hand-drive versions of the Compass SUV to be sold in India and in many international markets like Japan and the UK to name a few.

Fiat and Jeep are betting big on this model and have invested around US$ 280 million for the production of the Compass. Interestingly, around 70 percent of the SUV, including the engines, are manufactured locally. Panel stamping isn’t done in-house yet, but the doors are laser-welded – a first in India.

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The Compass will be available globally in as many as 17 engine, gearbox and drivetrain configurations and some of them are being manufactured in India for the international markets. Built on the same platform as the Renegade (small, wide 4×4), the Compass, however, features a longer wheelbase for greater space on the inside and a mildly altered suspension system.

The Compass will be sold in India with two engine options. First up, there is a 2.0-litre MultiJet diesel good for 170hp and 350Nm of torque. This engine will be available in both 4×2 and 4×4 configurations. The sole gearbox on offer with this engine will be a six-speed manual unit. There will be no automatic transmission on offer, at least initially. However, there is a chance of a nine-speed automatic gearbox at a later stage. The second engine on offer is the 1.4-litre MultiAir petrol. This 1.4-litre motor churns out around 160hp and, like the diesel variant, will be available with 4×2 and 4×4 option. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual and a seven-speed, dual clutch automatic.

Higher variants of the Compass will come with a 7.0-inch Uconnect infotainment system; this system will come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Sources tell us that Jeep has not compromised in the interior quality of the Compass sold in India and the models will have exactly the same levels of fit and finish as the ones that will be exported. Jeep will offer the Compass with as many as six airbags.

There will be additional safety features on offer like a reverse camera with sensors, along with the usual safety equipment like ABS, ESP, electronic roll-over mitigation and hill-start assist. The biggest advantage of heavy localisation, however, is that Jeep can offer a competitive price. The Compass is expected to be priced between Rs 18 lakh and Rs 25 lakh when it hits showrooms in the coming months.